Tuesday Night, Day 3, August 14th
Gever is up early today, awakened by fragments of design solutions to the problems they encountered yesterday. He gets a mumbled “Is it time to get up?” from one of the boys in the boys dorm, but they are fast asleep again before he can answer. He sets out the breakfast buffet of cereal, yogurt, bagels, toaster, and all the fixin’s, before the house is awake. He desperately needs someone to talk to about the ways the wheel mountings for the luge capability on the car can be done – but the place is stubbornly peaceful. Time for a walk. Outside, the morning sun lights up a beautiful sky.
Your Daily Goat: Baby albino goat alternates between licking the salt block and licking Gever’s hand.
Eventually, everyone is up, fed, and in the barn. The first order of business is to recover every single 2×4 from the projects from previous sessions. Carter is unstoppable.
Christie rescues wheels and 2×4’s. As they deconstruct the work of the older kids sessions, they become familiar with some standard Tinkering School solutions to common problems.
Later, in design conversations, Gever hears them describing some of the things they saw during deconstruction as reference points in their mental iterations.
The diagrams get more detailed and more sophisticated as they become comfortable with, and develop an intuitive sense of, the materials they have to work with.
Portrait of Two Tinkerers: Liora and Frannie have decided to tape their mouths closed and spend the morning using gestures instead of speech.
Portrait of Two Tinkerers: Liora and Frannie follow through.
Rowen invents wheely shoes that instantly make you taller and more sophisticated.
Portrait of a Tinkerer: Liora puts on a little lipstick (tapestick?).
Meanwhile, Kevin and Elizabeth get to work collecting parts for the luge wheels.
Frannie adds a goatee and mustache to her tape – an homage to V?
Kevin tries to ignore the fact that the tape-over-your-mouth cult has managed to recruit Elizabeth.
Josh, Carter, and the track team set up a section of test track.
On a test run, one of the guide wheels comes loose. A quick pow-wow among Elizabeth, Frannie, and Liora yields a workable solution (we’re all a little relieved to see that the tape-over-your-mouth cult has faded out of existence).
At fifteen minutes to noon, a strange “booming” voice announces LOCKDOWN! as the barn door swings shut, trapping everyone inside. Evidently, the warden of this place will not let anyone out of the barn until everything is picked up off the floor and tables and put in their proper places. This first-time lockdown proves to be amazingly effective, and in no time at all the place is shipshape. Over lunch, Gever and Lili launch into an abstract pedagogy discussion about the value of narrative as a motivating element in getting groups of kids to work together on something they might otherwise think of as a chore.
The track team has determined that they are going to absolutely run out of wood in the next few hours. Gever, Carter, and Rowen are dispatched to Home Depot Pro to get more – and of course Carter loves the opportunity to ride on the runningboard of the truck as it winds down the road to the entrance of the farm.
Meanwhile, Kevin and Lili keep at the luge wheels and figure out some of the tricky details about getting the right washers and nuts into the assembly before the parts are screwed together.
At the lumber store, Carter and Rowen sort through the pile of 2×4’s to find twenty six good ones.
Which they then load into the truck. Gever thinks he could get used to having a couple of teenaged helpers.
Frannie and Liora learn the pleasures of using the drill press – quiet, precise, and powerful.
Kevin experiences an unexpected “this one’s too big” moment as a series of ever-larger holes drilled in a piece of wood somehow skips the “perfect!” sized hole and the ensuing sudden realization that we are missing the right sized drill bit.
The new test track is ready. Built with an eighteen inch drop at the start, Ben discovers that with a near-frictionless set of wheels, eighteen inches can be quite thrilling.
Trent wants a little more speed, so he pushes off of the nearby post.
Carter, wearing his special rolugester gloves, also goes for the post pull.
Since she doesn’t have the special gloves, Frannie gets a friendly push from Trent.
Christie takes a ride as well.
If we can read anything in the expression on Liora’s face, it may well be that she had the most fun of anyone on her ride.
Rowen, after watching a few test runs, returned to the process of making track sections.
At the end of the day, the tinkerers are thrilled to learn that Josh has to run down to the conference center to get more supplies for dinner – any excuse to ride on the running boards.
Tonight was taco night, and we collectively ate our way through a mountain of seasoned ground turkey, fresh chopped vegetables, and cheeses. Despite the fact that we had a couple of horseplay-leads-to-accidents talks today, it was a great day. An informal survey over dinner reveals a consensus on this observation – just another day at Tinkering School.